Essentials to Pack for Your Next Golf Trip
There's nothing quite like arranging and enjoying a golf trip with your buddies. When you have sorted your flights and accommodation and have those all-important tee times booked, the next step is to pack your suitcase full of the essential items you'll need for your getaway.
Whether you're one of the many worldwide golfers heading to the east coast of Scotland this week or saving yourself for a golf destination later in the year, we've compiled a list of some travel essentials below.
Sort your waterproofs and umbrella
For those heading to Scotland, it isn't just as rainy as you may have heard, but it pays to come prepared for unsettled weather. Being buffeted by the wind during a downpour on the links is no fun, so make sure you prepare for all eventualities, regardless of what the weatherman may tell you.
A decent set of waterproofs is essential no matter where you're going. Ideally, they will be lightweight, windproof with an insulated lining and flexible enough to ensure they don't restrict your golf swing.
The umbrella is a pretty obvious one. Particularly when you're due to play links golf, you'll need one at hand. If you can pay a little extra for a heavy-duty brolly with vents, that should stop any worries about turning inside out in the strongest winds.
Pack your travel bag intelligently
If you're used to golf trips abroad, you'll be familiar with a golf travel bag. Unless you want to part with some serious cash to rent clubs at each course or shell out to get your own set shipped directly to your destination, you'll need one.
Store those sticks intelligently to make sure they arrive in one piece. Remove the heads from your driver and woods/hybrids to avoid any breakages. Place the putter in the middle and weave as much padding between the clubs as possible. Filling out that space in the bag reduces the chances of any bends or breaks.
Now all that's left is to hope the airline doesn't lose them in transit (please God, no)!!
Bring a 15th Club
An additional club gives you options depending on the course you're playing on any given day.
Assuming you can hit it, perhaps you could add a 2-iron for days when it's particularly windy. A driving iron helps you stay under the wind without losing too much distance off the tee. The lower trajectory will allow the ball to bound on forever if you find the short grass.
Adding another hybrid or wood gives you an alternative driving club, but they could also help your short game. If you don't fancy a tricky chip from a tight lie, the percentage shot could see you going for a wood or a hybrid and running the ball like a putt back towards the pin.
Having a 15th club will allow you to switch things up from round to round as the need arises.
Factor in cash for the pro shop
When visiting a bucket-list golf destination, you'll need to factor in spending money for the pro shops you visit. The thought of visiting a place like St Andrews and coming away empty-handed without something to call your own is too much for us to take.
With historic swag everywhere you turn, make sure you factor in a realistic budget to spend on cool golf gear. When you get home, you'll want to proudly show off those logos to impress your buddies.
Leave space for that swag
It's all well and good having the allocated budget to let loose in the pro shop but have you the available baggage allowance?
Remove unnecessary items from your bag before you set off to avoid an embarrassing situation at check-in and the need to furiously stuff your pockets like a pack mule.
Don't forget golf balls (lots of)
Golf balls can generally be picked up at most venues, but not every brand will be available when you arrive at your destination. You can't bank on the open pro shop, especially in Europe.
Pack as many golf balls as you think you need - and then add a dozen more. It's better to be overprepared than playing a ball that's not suited to your game.
Have an insulated water bottle
Another way to manage your expenditure on your golf trip - and stay hydrated - is to have ready access to water during every round.
Being in the sun all day can lead to dehydration, and if you're flagging a little, it will spell disaster for your ability to make good decisions. Taking an insulated water bottle to the course with you will stop you from becoming light-headed and dehydrated.
Stock up on sunscreen
Dangerous sun exposure is a common threat on the golf course, even when forecasts predict milder temps. OK, so it might not help you play better golf, but sunscreen is arguably the most important item in your golf bag. It's also one of the most inflated items in a pro shop, so it pays to stock up before you leave.
Get SPF 30 or above to protect you from the sun's strongest UV rays. You'll need to reapply a few times during your round so try a roll-on to avoid those 'greasy grip' worries.
Oh, and a little side note: sunscreen is one of the most inflated items in a pro shop when you're abroad, so it really pays to stock up before you leave.